Sudhir Ruparelia wins a 397BN Crane Bank case against BOU

Court of Appeal dismisses BOU case against Property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia; File Photo

Property mogul Sudhir Ruparelia has won a case in the Court of Appeal in which the Bank of Uganda contested the ruling of the lower court delivered on August 26

The Court dismissed an appeal filed by Bank of Uganda against an earlier judgment that had dismissed a shs397 billion commercial dispute between Crane Bank in receivership and businessman Sudhir Ruparelia.

In a judgement read on Tuesday by the court registrar, Mary Babirye, three justices of the Court of Appeal including the Deputy Chief Justice, Alphonse Owiny Dollo, Cheborion Barishaki, and Steven Musota said they had not found any merit in the BoU appeal.

“We agree with the above (High Court) decision. People should not hide behind non-existent persons, file frivolous suits, and seek that courts should make orders as to costs against non-existent persons,” the judges ruled.

In August 2019, Bank of Uganda (BoU) /Crane Bank in receivership sued Sudhir Ruparelia and Meera Investments Limited of allegedly fleecing the defunct Crane Bank Limited (CBL) of Shs397 billion that the central bank wants to be refunded.

Bank of Uganda (BoU) appealed against the ruling of Commercial Court head David Wangutusi, who dismissed a multibillion commercial dispute against City tycoon, Sudhir Ruparelia that had been filed by Crane Bank-in-receivership two years ago.

The judge dismissed the case on technicality, alleging that Crane Bank-in-receivership lost its powers to ‘sue’ or to be ‘sued’ thus rendering its suit a nullity.

The judge also held that once Crane Bank was placed under receivership, it was insulated against legal proceedings according to Section 96 of the Financial Institutions Act and therefore had no powers to sue Mr Ruparelia. He also went ahead and ordered BoU to pay costs that Mr Ruparelia used to successfully to prosecute this matter.

The court of appeal upheld today the 2019 ruling of the commercial court.

“we find no such misconduct relating to litigation on the part of the respondents and as such, we find no reason to deny the respondents’ costs of the suit. We, therefore, uphold the trial judge’s order as to costs. The appeal consequently fails. It is thus dismissed with costs here and the court below,” the judges ruled on Tuesday.



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